Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Setting the AutoRecover Directory.

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 11, 2016)

Excel has a feature that causes automatic saving of temporary files, in case there is a problem with your computer. (You know the routine—power goes out, whatever.) This feature is called AutoRecover. When an AutoRecover file is saved to disk, it is placed in a directory that you specify. To change the directory used for saving AutoRecover files, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Click on the Save tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. In the AutoRecover Save Location box, enter the full path of the folder in which you want the files saved.
  5. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3342) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Setting the AutoRecover Directory.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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